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  1. Fort in Astrapi, Île de Zeus This is my entry for Challenge II - Defending Yer Claims, category A. On Île de Zeus, which has recently been incorporated into the empire of Oleon, Oleander military engineers have been busy erecting defensive structures. They are designed to be suitable both against any hostile natives and to defend the island from other nations if the political tensions should turn into open war. This small fort is built using resources which can be found in great abundance on the island, namely wood and sand. The slope of the walls increase their effective cross-section to provide additional protection of the rooms inside and the sand provides excellent ballistic protection (compare with modern-day sand bags). The fort is of course not built to withstand a prolonged siege, but it’s heavy cannons and high elevation should be able to put up a good resistance against any of the smaller vessels still predominant in the waters of New Terra. The three cannons can be directed in all directions from the fort, and a soldier in the high lookout tower can spot approaching ships better than lookouts on higher ground on the island, since the peaks are most often shrouded in clouds while the land closer to the beaches is more likely to have good sight of the seas. A lot of weird angles in this build and quite a few iterations to get things the way I wanted, but I'm fairly happy with the end result. The gate is on the other side if someone wonders, but in the rush to complete this it didn’t turn out well enough to merit a picture... I tried a new black background for this photo session, which I think worked ok except for that the contrast to the black roof wasn't very good... I also tried some different lighting with another flash from above, to simulate sunlight. What do you think of that?
  2. What Cooke had requested in his latest despatch was not as unexpected as one might think. As should be expected of any enlightened, civilised, scientific society (and which religious zealots or money-hungering mercantilists will find hard to grasp) there is a procedure or design already in place for any significant situation. So too is the case when it comes to claiming and holding newly claimed land under the Corlander Crown. As soon as the New Terra expeditions were announced, military engineers and tacticians of the Royal Society of Military Sciences set about designing defensive measures for new possessions in remote areas. The design requirements were a balance between high firepower, defensibility, and ease of construction on site. The result of these efforts is the "Colonial Half-battery, Mark I" depicted in the sketches below. Armed with two 24-pounders, it can swiftly puncture anything short of frigate-size, and pose a significant threat, even to larger vessels. Manned by two gun crews of each 6 gunners and a sergeant, and commanded by a Lieutenant (with an aide-de-camp) a half-battery is made up of 16 men of the Royal Navy Artillery Corps. Thus expertly handled, it can continuously deliver swift, accurate fire. The bulwarks and carriages are designed to be constructed on site, from locally sourced materials, and with specialised tools. In fact, only the guns, ammunition, and turntables have to be sourced externally. Depending on the availability of materials and the topography of the site, the crew itself can erect a "Colonial Half-Battery, Mark I" in less than a week, a process that can be sped up by the help of additional manpower and/or careful preparations of the site. However, a fixed battery has tactical limitations, and can only command a fixed arc of fire. Therefore, an option has been devised for these situations where tactical considerations warrant it. This option is the "Colonial Gunboat, Mark I", as depicted below. Essentially a reinforced ship's launch, the gunboat has been strengthened to withstand the massive recoil of the 24-pounder mounted in its bow, as well as moderate amounts of enemy fire. With such a large gun on a mobile platform, commanders are given considerably more tactical freedom than that afforded by a fort alone. Manned exactly like the half-battery, it brings the total complement of fort and gunboat up to a full battery, which triggers the addition of a Captain and his aide-de-camp, a signal corporal, and a surgeon and his mate, totalling 37 men. As each gun-crew can man either one gun, or the gunboat, a full battery has one redundant group at all times. This allows for rest during prolonged battle, small arms support, or various support tasks; and affords the commander a great degree of flexibility, even under heavy losses. The complete organisation can be seen below. _________________________________________________________________________ Originally, I had intended to put the boat and battery on a landscape, but I was not able to finish it before leaving my bricks behind, so I had to be creative with presentation! Not all the pictures are perfect, but they were taking in a rush, so please indulge me. I kinda like the idea of standardisation of these things, and I think it fits in perfectly in Corrington. Further, it allowed me to build these things before actually placing them on the new islalnd found by Montoya and Cooke, thus avoiding timeline issues. I think the gunboat turned out well, and hope to revisit that technique at a later point. I also like the guns and their carriages. I am planning to license the gunboat as a class 1 A at some point, and the fortress as a small fort, if I ever need it. C&C more than welcome - I hope you like it.